It's about time. Or at least that seemed to be the expression on nearly everyone's lips while they shopped for beer at the new Marketplace Café at the Giant Food Store in Springettsbury Township.
On Friday the store became the third Giant to sell beer in Pennsylvania, and at least two other Giant locations are in the process of adding beer to their sales as well, said Kevin McDonald, store manager at the Giant Food Store in Springettsbury Township.
Customers have been curious about whether laws in Pennsylvania have changed, but the store is merely operating under a restaurant license, McDonald said.
"It's been nuts, very nuts," said Fran Welsh, manager of the Café Marketplace at Giant. "It's been a good couple of days."
So far shoppers have been remarking about how wonderful it is, Welsh said. "It's about time," said Eric Ashley, 55, of York Township. "I think it's really good. It would be even better if we could get this out of state regulation and have more places selling it for competition so the prices would come down."
George Iberl, 75, of York Township, said that he quit drinking a long time ago but selling beer at the grocery store is fine by him.
"Where I come from, they sell it to you at 16 and they sell it everywhere," said Iberl, who grew up in Germany. "So as long as they don't sell it to anyone under 21 here, that's fine."
Carl Barnes, 21, of York City said he likes the idea.
"You have to be more cautious with selling it to minors, but I think it's a good economical opportunity for the store," Barnes said.
Currently the store's new alcohol selection only includes beer, but there have been lots of requests for wine, said McDonald.
"We have a lot of craft and specialty beers," McDonald said. "We're not a distributor so we don't have the 24 packs."
Giant's liquor license permits customers to purchase two six-packs of beer at a time for carryout.
Hours for the Marketplace Café are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Originally expected to open in June, the new café was able to open early upon receiving final approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, a company spokesman said. In addition to national and imported beers, the café sells hot and cold subs and paninis, baked goods and coffee.
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